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NFUS to Hold Beef Producer Drop-In Session in Lanark

NFU Scotland’s livestock committee has extended its programme of drop-in sessions at store sales to take place at Lanark Mart next week. This is one of seven taking place around the country as farmer’s concerns about the beef market grow.

Beef prices are falling sharply and there are reports of waiting times of more than five weeks to get cattle into some abattoirs. This mirrors problems experienced in recent years and is hitting those selling prime cattle and causing concern for those with store animals to sell in the coming weeks.

NFU Scotland Livestock Policy Manager John Sleigh, accompanied by Livestock committee members, has so far held drop in sessions at Dingwall market, Huntly, St Boswells, United Auctions Stirling and Castle Douglas.

The team will be at Lanark Mart on 3 May from 11pm to 2pm to speak to beef producers.

Livestock Chairman Charlie Adam commented: “Farmers are rightly worried about the falling prices. We are seeing prices back more than 10 percent year on year for both the store and finished markets. With late support payments and some challenging weather, it is a tough time for Scotland’s cattle farmers.

“There are certain areas in the Scottish beef market that must be addressed. The Scottish, UK and Irish prices are all very similar. This must make imports less attractive and our beef more competitive in Europe but it also shows the urgent need to re-establish the premium that is normally attached to the Scotch brand.

“It is also clear that retailers are fighting to regain competitiveness and increase margins. This means the amount they pay for beef is being pushed lower but that doesn’t appear to equate to a better deal for consumers as beef prices at a retail level appear static at best. That means beef producers must secure a fairer share of the margins being made on beef.

“NFU Scotland’s livestock committee will be looking at the beef situation at their meeting in May. That will include a discussion on the potential benefits of having industry agreed terms and conditions in the Scottish beef trade. A similar proposal is already under discussion in England and Wales.”  

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 106/16


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